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Viswanathan Anand vs Veselin Topalov
"23rd Century Chess" (game of the day Aug-23-2007)
MTel Masters (2005), Sofia BUL, rd 1, May-12
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. English Attack (B80)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-23-11  voyager39: Been through a lot of games here but not found a single one that is in the "notable games" of both players!

Kudos to these two for playing the game of the century and for Kramnik to put it in its proper perspective.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Funny, I thought this was 23rd century chess:
Oct-28-11  Crazychess1: What a grand draw! I was rooting for Anand the whole time!
Feb-12-12  reisena23: Only CG to provide us draws as good or even better than victories!
Feb-17-12  kia0708: Anand-Topalov 2005 was 23rd Century Chess.
I hope Anand-Gelfand won't be called 10th Century.
Feb-17-12  LaFreak III: 20.Rxd4 e5
21.Rxd5 Qc8
22.Nc4 exf4
23.Nb6 Qc6
24.Nd4 Qxb6
I don't know if my line is correct, and I can see here that 26.Re1 is the next move.
Feb-26-13  voyager39: Topalov - Anand games can by themselves constitute a Chess Tactics Bible.
Sep-21-13  PawnJockey: I believe that 42: A7 is the way forward for white.

The threat of a pawn on the 7th would require careful and constant attention from black.

It would prove advantageous in the event that black actually manages to make good on his identical threat by queening the H pawn.

Oct-29-13  harshvk5: Am I the only one who doesn't get this game?
Wild tactics!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Gotta be one of the greatest draws of all time!


Aug-09-14  Whitehat1963: Best draw ever?
Aug-14-14  fisayo123: <Whitehat1963> Grischuk vs Svidler 2007 must also be considered :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  JointheArmy: <Anand-Topalov 2005 was 23rd Century Chess. I hope Anand-Gelfand won't be called 10th Century.>

How'd I miss this gem?

Sep-22-14  RandomVisitor: After 55.e1Q+:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[-0.75] d=26 56.Rc1 Qe4+ 57.Ka1 <Qg2> 58.Rb2 Qg1 59.Rbb1 Qe3 60.Rc2 Qd4+ 61.Rcb2 Kg8 62.Nf2 Qd5 63.a4 g5 64.Rb8+ Kh7 65.R8b7+ Kh8 66.Rb8+ Kg7 67.R8b7+ Kf8 68.Rb8+ Ke7 69.R8b7+ Ke8 70.Rh7 Qd4+ 71.Rb2

Sep-22-14  RandomVisitor: After 41...h3:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[+0.78] d=18 42.a7 Re2 43.Rd3 h2 44.Rh3+ Kg6 45.Nd3 Rd2 46.Rf1 Re2 47.Nf2 Qb7+ 48.Rb3 Qd5 49.Rc1 Qc6 50.Rh3 Qb7+ 51.Ka1 Qc6 52.a3

Sep-23-14  RandomVisitor: After 55.e1Q+ 56.Rc1 Qe4+ 57.Ka1:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[-0.57] d=29 57...Kg6 58.Rb2 Qe3 59.Rf1 Qc3 60.Rff2 Qe1+ 61.Rb1 Qe5+ 62.Rbb2 Qc5 63.Rf1 Qg1 64.Rbf2 Kh5 65.a4 g5 66.Ka2 g4 67.Rxf4 Qe3 68.Rf8 Qd2+ 69.Kb3 Qd3+ 70.Kb4 Qd4+ 71.Kb5 Kh4 72.a5 Qd5+

Sep-27-14  RandomVisitor: A final look at 42.a7!

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[+2.04] d=25 42.a7 Re2 43.Rd3 h2 44.Rh3+ Kg6 45.Nd3 Rg2 46.a3 Kf7 47.Rh1 Qb7+ 48.Kc1 Rxc2+ 49.Kxc2 Qxh1

Oct-19-14  honeypot: Greatest draw ever.
Mar-14-15  ketchuplover: I like Diemer v. Tromsdorff 1975 slightly more
Aug-20-15  prithvimothi: Not all draws deserve a 1/2-1/2
Excellent draws like this one deserve a 1-1
Boring draws deserve a 0-0
Mar-07-16  Alexandro: What would happen if Topalov hadn't decide checking perpetually, would he win or lose? Only a curiosity!!!
Jul-30-17  leroquentin: wow! the best game I ever saw!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Topalov obviously played 16..f6 in preparation for Bf5, but I thought Bf5 is not that bad for white, because of 17. Qd3 Nf2?? 18. Qg6+ Ke7 19. Be3!!! threatening Bc5# and at least winning N on f2.

Anyway, I was floored when Anand played Bd3 and took away his only escape square because he had figured out how to get 3 pieces for the queen.

When these guys were in their prime they made Stockfish look like a clunky Olivetti word processor!

Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 29 dpa

1. -+ (-2.09): 20...Be8 21.Bxe8 Qxe8 22.Rxb4 e5 23.Re1 Qc6 24.Nxe5 fxe5 25.Bxe5 Kg8 26.Nd3 Kh7 27.Re2 Rhe8 28.a4 Rac8 29.Kb1 Re7 30.Rf4 Qb6 31.Bd4 Qb7 32.Rff2 Rce8 33.Rd2 Qc7 34.c3 a5 35.Kb2 Rc8 36.h3 Qd6 37.Rde2

2. -+ (-1.69): 20...Kg8 21.Re1 Be8 22.Bxe8 Qxe8 23.Rxd5 exd5 24.Rxe8+ Rxe8 25.Nd3 g5 26.Bg3 a5 27.Nd4 Kf7 28.Nc6 Ra8 29.h4 gxh4 30.Bxh4 Rhg8 31.Nf2 Rac8 32.Nd4 Rh8 33.Bg3 h5 34.gxh5 Rxh5 35.Kb2 Rg5 36.Bd6 Rg2 37.Nd3 Rc3 38.Nf4 Rd2 39.Nfe6 Rcd3

3. ∓ (-1.32): 20...a5 21.Re1 Be8 22.Nh4 Qd7 23.Bg3 Kg8 24.Na4 Bf7 25.Rd2 Re8 26.Bd3 g5 27.Ng6 Bxg6 28.Bxg6 Re7 29.Kb2 Kg7 30.Be4 Rhe8 31.Bf3 Qc6 32.Bf2 Rc7 33.Bb6 Rb7 34.Bf2 Rbb8 35.Bg1 Kg6 36.Bg2 Rbc8 37.Bb6 Ra8 38.Bc5

Sep-20-18  Boomie: <RandomVisitor: A final look at 42.a7!>

I doubt there will ever be a final word on this game, but 42. a7 looks golden. I took a swing at it 3 days after the game (Anand vs Topalov, 2005 (kibitz #19)). Today I'm using more powerful engines so it's worth trying again.

42. a7 Re2 43. Rd3 h2 44. Rh3+ Kg6 45. Nc4 (3.82/39 Stockfish 8/64)

click for larger view

It looks like the pieces were dropped on the board from a high place.

Although this is the kind of position where the engines shine, I don't fully trust the evals. However the eval climbs after each increase in depth. So we can cautiously say that white is winning. But remember that after the queen sac, the engines have black winning. Actually it's white who has all the winning chances. So even here, the engines might be fooled.

In any case, it was humans who had to play it. History's greatest tacticians could probably make it to the full point. And these two guys certainly qualify for that club.

The continuation is a challenge to understanding. What do these moves mean?

45...f5 46. Kb2 (This is the only winning move according the The Fish. How would a human find it?) 46...Re4 47. Nd2 (Again the only winning move.) 47...Ra4 48. Rxh2 (4.85/36)

click for larger view

Soon black will have to give up the exchange for the a7 pawn. Else the queen is condemned to a blockading role.

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